Everyone loves the Fourth of July. And what’s not to love? Hamburgers, hot dogs, fireworks — everyone loves that, right?
Hey, I’m all for that, except maybe the fireworks part. My metabolism has shifted enough now that staying up that late just to see something that in large measure I’ve seen countless times before just doesn’t make sense to me. But hey, if that turns you on, go for it.
Unless you want to do it in my neighborhood. This brings me to why I hate the Fourth of July. My neighborhood is filled with yahoos who think the Fourth of July is excuse enough to keep everyone up late at night. How am I supposed to get a good night’s sleep when my neighborhood is turned into a war zone?
The only way I can get that good night’s sleep is to get a room in a hotel. I’d rather go camping — fireworks are prohibited in the forest — but since I have to teach classes the day before and after the holiday, a hotel is my only option. I have to spend money — and good hotels aren’t cheap — all because the yahoos in my neighborhood want to turn the place into a war zone. And this year I get to pay for four nights because July 4 is on a Tuesday. They’ve been shooting fireworks off since Saturday night. Not that much, but enough to get on my nerves.
I hate that I have to spend money this time every year because I can’t sleep in the house I call home! All this is because the “happiness” some yahoos have decided to pursue contradicts my pursuit of my happiness, which at night includes a good night’s sleep. Apparently, their desire to party takes precedence over my pocketbook.
Somehow I don’t think that’s what the Founding Fathers sacrificed so much for.
That’s part of why I don’t celebrate the Fourth of July. The Fourth of July has become all about a huge party that starts during the day and lasts late into the night. I celebrate Independence Day and the birth of a country founded on the idea that people should be free to pursue their own happiness so long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s freedom.
Our country hasn’t always lived up to that idea, but I think it’s still woven into the idea of America itself and therefore something that at least a portion of the populace will always strive to realize.
If your happiness is partying, I don’t have a problem with that. Just don’t prevent me from having the happiness I find in a good night’s sleep without having the extra expense of going somewhere else to get it.
And with that, it’s getting late, so I’m off to bed. :)
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